Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 2 April 2009) . . Page.. 1766 ..
minimum across reading, numeracy, writing, grammar and punctuation for years 3, 5, 7 and 9 and in spelling for years 7 and 9. Our students had the highest or equal highest mean scores across reading and numeracy for years 3, 5, 7 and 9, grammar and punctuation for years 5, 7 and 9, spelling for years 7 and 9, and writing for year 3. In spelling, while the mean score performance of students in years 3 and 5 was similar to the national results, it was below those achieved by New South Wales and Victoria. Our mean score in year 3 writing was higher than the national mean but again it was behind New South Wales and Victoria. Whilst our year 5, 7 and 9 students performed similar to the national mean, our scores were lower than those of Victoria, the highest performing state.
NAPLAN mean scores for Indigenous students in Australia and in the ACT are significantly below those of non-Indigenous students across all levels and all assessments. Nevertheless, a higher proportion of ACT Indigenous students achieved above the national minimum standard in all tests and all year levels when compared to the national results. In the ACT the greatest difference in mean scores of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students occurred in year 3 in grammar and punctuation, spelling and reading, whilst the smallest difference across each of those domains was in year 7.
When comparing the results of students with a language background other than English, LBOTE students, with those of their non-LBOTE peers, an analysis of mean NAPLAN scores reveals inconsistent patterns. While LBOTE students generally achieved higher mean scores in numeracy and spelling, there was a higher percentage of non-LBOTE students achieving at or above the national minimum standard in reading, grammar and punctuation. Compared to other jurisdictions, more ACT LBOTE students achieved results in the top two performance bands in years 7 and 9 in reading, grammar and punctuation. However, in spelling, writing and numeracy across years 3 and 5, New South Wales and Victoria had a greater percentage of LBOTE students performing in the top two bands.
Whilst ACT public school results are amongst the best in Australia, it is clear that improvements can be made. We must improve the literacy and numeracy outcomes for all Indigenous students; improve writing, spelling and numeracy in the primary and middle years; and maximise the achievements of our high performing students. Targeting these identified areas will support our goal of improving literacy and numeracy outcomes for all students.
Next month I will launch the new five-year literacy and numeracy strategy for public schools, to help ensure we continue our strong performance into the future. While many students perform well, this new strategy will ensure we prioritise and target support to those schools most in need and those students not performing to their potential. This strategy provides the direction to guide and support school leaders and teachers in improving the literacy and numeracy outcomes of all of their students. I look forward to sharing the details of this new strategy with the committee as part of this inquiry.
The government is committed to ensuring that the ACT remains a national leader in literacy and numeracy and, more importantly, to ensuring that each and every student achieves their potential. I commend this motion to the Assembly.